Niels Swinkels

Native Dutchman Niels Swinkels is a freelance journalist, musicologist, and sound engineer. Before moving to San Francisco, he was the arts editor and senior classical music/opera critic for Brabants Dagblad, a regional daily newspaper in the Netherlands. As a freelance writer and sound engineer, he currently works for San Francisco Opera, KALW Local Public Radio, Elevation Online, Earprint Productions, and others.

Articles by this Author

Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 San Francisco Early Music Society  Forgotten Viennese Composers Get Some Love From Quicksilver
February 3, 2016

The greats and not-so-greats of 17th-century Vienna get a hearing thanks to the Quicksilver ensemble.

More about San Francisco Early Music Society »
Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 American Bach Soloists  ABS Chorus Stands Out in ‘Bach Favorites’
January 27, 2016
American Bach Soloists revisited two of the three Bach Cantatas from their inaugural concert for the opening of their 27th season. More about American Bach Soloists »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Ax and Urbanski: A Meeting of Magnificent Musical Minds
January 19, 2016
Conductor Krzysztof Urbanski made an astonishing debut with the San Francisco Symphony, joined by pianist Emanuel Ax. More about San Francisco Symphony »
Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 Voices of Music  Italian Baroque for the Holidays by Voices of Music
December 22, 2015
The early music ensemble performed festive pieces from the Italian baroque at St. Mark’s Lutheran in San Francisco. More about Voices of Music »
Choral REVIEW
 American Bach Soloists  American Bach Soloists Excel in Joyful Christmas Story
December 15, 2015
Bach’s sumptuous and inspired Christmas Oratorio was well-served by Jeffrey Thomas’ ace musicians. More about American Bach Soloists »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  On Schumann’s Big Night at the Symphony, Strauss Stands Out
November 24, 2015
The symphony is recording Schumann’s four symphonies, but orchestra and soloist made a stronger case for Richard Strauss. More about San Francisco Symphony »
Choral REVIEW
 San Francisco Girls Chorus  SF Girls Chorus, TENET Go ‘Behind Convent Walls’
November 4, 2015
The chorus joined the early music ensemble in honoring 17th-century female composers. More about San Francisco Girls Chorus »
Choral REVIEW
 California Bach Society  Cal Bach Society Revives Zelenka’s ‘Bohemian Masterpiece’
October 20, 2015
Cal Bach Society celebrated the opening of its 45th season with a fine performance of Jan Dismas Zelenka’s Missa Votiva. More about California Bach Society »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  S.F. Symphony Delivers Hearne's <em>Dispatches</em> With Dose of Tchaikovsky
October 6, 2015
Filled with music and ideas from outside the concert hall, Ted Hearne's new work opens doors, but it was not the only fresh performance at Davies this past week. More about San Francisco Symphony »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Trifonov’s Otherworldly Playing Kicks Off New Season for S.F. Symphony
September 29, 2015
The performance by the Russian concert pianist was absolutely astonishing and matched by MTT and his musicians. More about San Francisco Symphony »
Choral REVIEW
 Slavyanka Russian Chorus  Ringing in the 100th Anniversary of Rachmaninoff’s 'All-Night Vigil' with Slavyanka
August 25, 2015
The Bay Area Russian choral ensemble more than doubles in size for weekend performances of the timeless masterpiece. More about Slavyanka Russian Chorus »
Opera REVIEW
 American Bach Soloists  Marais’ <em>Sémélé</em>: A Spectacular Opera of Grand Proportions
August 18, 2015
Marais’ opera get its long overdue U.S. premiere thanks to American Bach Soloists. More about American Bach Soloists »
Opera REVIEW
 West Edge Opera  Monteverdi’s Ulysses Returns to His Homeland — a Warehouse in Oakland
August 4, 2015
With its unique setting, a former steel pipe factory, West Edge Opera stays true to its marketing tagline of "unexpected places" for "remarkable operas." More about West Edge Opera »
Festival REVIEW
 Music@Menlo  Schubert@Menlo: The Mature Composer Emerges
July 29, 2015
The full genius of the composer shone in three masterworks: Arpeggione” Sonata; the “Wanderer” Fantasy; and the Octet. More about Music@Menlo »
Festival REVIEW
 Midsummer Mozart Festival  George Cleve’s Annual Mozart Vacation
July 21, 2015
The Midsummer Mozart Festival returns for its 41st season. More about Midsummer Mozart Festival »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Dutoit Delivers With Stravinsky and Mussorgsky
June 2, 2015
The maestro led the symphony with casually controlled theatricality and an air of mischief. More about San Francisco Symphony »
Choral REVIEW
 Volti  The Journey That Is <em>Pandora’s Gift</em>
May 20, 2015
Volti’s Pandora’s Gift, performed with the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, leaves a lasting visual impression. More about Volti »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  S.F. Symphony: Bernstein Obscures Mahler
May 13, 2015

A lovely rendering of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony is unfortunately paired with Bernstein’s brash, ostentatious Age of Anxiety.

More about San Francisco Symphony »
Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 American Bach Soloists  American Bach Soloists Show the Lighter Side of Bach
May 6, 2015
The early music group introduced a young cello soloist and played a sprightly reading of a Bach orchestral suite. More about American Bach Soloists »
Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 Cal Performances  Les Arts Florissants and the Heartaches of Love
May 6, 2015
William Christie’s vocal and instrumental Baroque ensemble brings the language of love to Cal Performances. More about Cal Performances »